Three Dublin clubs are in Leinster LGFA Club Championship action this weekend at Senior, Intermediate and Junior level
Will it be lucky number seven for Foxrock Cabinteely on Sunday or will Dunboyne match their Leinster titles from 2015 and 2017 and seize their first Leinster Senior Crown?
That is the question facing those across the province as the Leinster Senior Club Final takes centre stage on Sunday afternoon in Coralstown Kinnegad.
The Dublin/Meath rivalry is sure to be a factor in what promises to be a pulsating encounter. Both teams had very different experiences in their semi-final encounters last weekend.
While Foxrock Cabinteely got through their contest against Tullamore with ten points to spare, Dunboyne were pushed all the way to extra time by Wicklow champions and 2020 Leinster Intermediate Club Champions, Tinahely.
In what was one of the games of the year, it was TG4 All Star Emma Duggan’s goal late in the second half of extra time that sealed the Meath team’s place in the final. And that goal too was one of fortune as it appeared to suffer a deflection from a Tinahely defender.
Both teams on Sunday have squads full of experience and will know what it takes to empty the tank and push on until the final whistle. One need look no further than team captains Fiona O’Neill and Ciara O’Riordan for players that can inspire and motivate those around them.
Foxrock Cabinteely boast players of the calibre of All Ireland Intermediate winning captain Fiona Claffey, Hannah O’Neill, Jodi Egan, Andrea Murphy and double All Ireland Junior winner Lorna Fusciardi.
They have match winners, defiant defenders and the determination to ensure the trophy returns to the capital for a seventh successive season.
The challengers, Dunboyne, are no strangers to Leinster provincial competition although this is their first Senior provincial final.
Undoubtedly, 2021 is a year that people from Meath will not forget in a hurry for all the right reasons and Dunboyne will hope they can add further joy on Sunday.
Their squad boasts TG4 Senior Players’ Player of the Year and All Star Vikki Wall and Emma Duggan as well as boasting experienced players such as Julie Kavanagh, Fiona O’Neill, Shelly Melia and semi-final goalscorer from wing back, Annie Moffatt.
Sunday’s Final will be live streamed on the Leinster LGFA Facebook page https://en-gb.facebook.com/LeinsterLadiesGaelicFootballAssociation by Jerome Quinn.
Supporters attending are reminded that the game is a ticket only affair, details available on the Leinster LGFA website www.leinsterladiesgaelic.ie
On Saturday, the focus is on securing those all-important final spots in the Junior and Intermediate grades.
In Longford, Longford Slashers will host Shelmalier while in Malahide, St Sylvesters will host The Downs in the Intermediate semi-finals.
Longford Slashers ensured of their place in the semi-finals when they saw off a talented Navan O’Mahonys side. Jessica Barry scored the all important winning goal as the game went right to the wire.
In their way for a place in the final is a club no stranger to Leinster competition.
Wexford champions, Shelmalier defeated Geraldines in last week’s quarter final with Deirdre McMahon scoring both goals for the home side. With both sides able to wrack up a sizeable score, this one may well come down to the defence.
In the second semi-final, Dublin champions St Sylvester’s host The Downs from Westmeath.
Sylvester’s had eight points to spare over Ballyroan in the quarter finals and will go into Saturday’s semi-final hoping to make home advantage count against their Westmeath opposition.
The Downs defeated a fancied Bray Emmets side last time out, putting 4-16 past the Wicklow champions, and they will be confident of causing an upset in Malahide.
Meanwhile, in the Junior Championship, Kilanerin will be hoping the sun shines in the sunny south east as they host their third consecutive game in Leinster.
Taking a visit with them this week are Dublin champions St Jude’s. St Jude’s were three point winners over Skyrne last Sunday as they were pushed all the way by the Meath champions.
In the second semi-final, Ballyfin ran riot in extra time against Tinahely last Saturday to ensure their place in the last four.
They face Colmcille who defeated Kilkerly Emmets in the preliminary round of the competition, before receiving a bye in the quarter-finals. It remains to be seen whether that weekend’s break will make or break the Longford champions.
All four of Saturday’s semi-finals are being streamed live.
The Intermediate Semi-Finals will be streamed live on the Leinster LGFA Facebook page https://en-gb.facebook.com/LeinsterLadiesGaelicFootballAssociation while the Junior semi-finals will be streamed live on the Leinster LGFA Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYxR-Ni6UG392E-zT51SgIw
We wish all squads competing this weekend every success.
Leinster LGFA Club Championship Fixtures – 4th/5th December
Saturday 4th December
Junior Semi Finals – Throw in 1:30pm
Ballyfin (Laois) v Colmcille (Longford), Pairc Acragar, Mountmellick GAA Grounds, J Corcoran
Kilanerin (Wexford) v St Judes (Dublin), Kilanerin GAA Grounds, P O’Malley
Intermediate Semi Finals – Throw in 1:30pm, first named teams at home
Longford Slashers (Longford) v Shelmalier (Wexford), Michael Fay Park, Longford Slashers, M Tarpey
St Sylvesters (Dublin) v The Downs (Westmeath), Broomfield, Malahide, K Phelan
Sunday 5th December
Senior Final – Throw in 1:30pm
Dunboyne (Meath) v Foxrock Cabinteely (Dublin), Coralstown Kinnegad GAA Grounds, J Bermingham